The purpose of the present paper is threefold. First, my ambition is to improve the analytical framework that is used to assess the legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights. The Court’s authority can neither be established nor refuted by a single master-argument. Instead, what we need is a careful balancing exercise and this piece aims to set out the main elements of the justificatory equation. Second, using this framework, I intend to put forward the outline of a coherent critique of the European human rights regime. Third, I hope that my paper is able to shed light on why it is natural to expect more vocal criticism from the United Kingdom than from most other member states of the Council of Europe.
Bibliographical noteThe author would like to thank Paul Beaumont, Richard Bellamy, Mátyás Bódig, Andreas Føllesdal, Gábor Halmai, András Jakab and Zsolt Körtvélyesi for valuable comments, discussions and suggestions.
- European Court of Human Rights
- Human Rights Act 1998
- margin of appreciation